‘Very Religious Parents’ Trying to Indoctrinate Their Grandkid
By Wendy Thomas Russell | October 21, 2013
- I got a letter from a reader today. Raise your hand if you can relate. Hello Wendy! Looking for some advice on how to deal with my very Christian parents and my daughter. She’ll be 2 in January and is already saying “Amen” and “Yay God.” I am not Christian and feel disrespected by this. They know that I have COMPLETELY different beliefs. Any advice on how to “respectfully” get them to stop? Pretty typical, right? I started to write this mom a private response but, with her permission, decided to make it public. I’d […] Read more – ‘‘Very Religious Parents’ Trying to Indoctrinate Their Grandkid’.
‘Golden Rule’ — Beautiful, Universal and Very, Very Old
By Wendy Thomas Russell | July 15, 2013
- It is a common misconception that the Golden Rule began with Jesus. In fact, it’s part of the reason some Christians think of their religion as synonymous with morality. After all, to treat others the way you want to be treated is the essence of moral conduct. And it was Luke 6:31 in the New Testament that quotes Jesus as saying: “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” (Matthew 7:1-5 also addresses the topic.) But Jesus didn’t invent the ethic of reciprocity anymore than did Muhammad, who said: […] Read more – ‘‘Golden Rule’ — Beautiful, Universal and Very, Very Old’.
7-Year-Old: ‘Why Would God Care Whether I Believe in Him?’
By Wendy Thomas Russell | July 4, 2013
- My 7-year-old daughter has been thinking quite a bit about death lately. She told me she doesn’t want to lose any more of her baby teeth because that means she’s going to grow up, and she doesn’t want to grow up because that means she’s going to die. Pretty good logic. Well, apparently, the death thing came up at a playdate over the weekend because, in the car this morning, Maxine asked: “Is it true that people who believe in God live longer than people who don’t believe in God?” My husband and I hesitated […] Read more – ‘7-Year-Old: ‘Why Would God Care Whether I Believe in Him?’’.
It’s Not a Competition: 8 Tips for Interfaith Parents
By Wendy Thomas Russell | June 6, 2013
- In America at least, “mixed-religion” families are becoming a norm. And that’s a great thing in many ways — great for couples, great for kids, and great for society. But it comes with a fair share of complications, too. And figuring out how to talk to children about these different beliefs is one of them. It can be hard, for instance, to field questions of faith when your answers collide with those of your partner’s — “Mommy’s going to heaven, and Daddy is — well, he’s going to the ground.” But these talks (not to mention […] Read more – ‘It’s Not a Competition: 8 Tips for Interfaith Parents’.
7 Tips for Dealing with Religious Relatives
By Wendy Thomas Russell | June 3, 2013
- I’m lucky to have a supportive family. Even my religious family members respect and accept me for who I am. But that’s not always the case. Some of us are facing relatives who are heartbroken about our lack of faith — incredulous, fearful, maybe even angry. For parents, this is an area that weighs especially heavily. We want so much to encourage our children to have open, meaningful relationships with our loved ones, but we worry our kids will be pressured to believe things that aren’t true, or may even be harmful. No one wants to expose […] Read more – ‘7 Tips for Dealing with Religious Relatives’.
Daddy, Daughter Discuss God (Again); More Cuteness Ensues
By Wendy Thomas Russell | May 13, 2013
- My husband and 7-year-old daughter had another totally awesome conversation about God a few days ago. They used to do that from time to time, but it’s been a while since the subject has come up in much detail. I sure love it when it does. The talks are always fun, insightful, thought-provoking and, frankly, cute as hell. They also present Charlie with golden opportunities to teach Maxine about honesty, diversity and the importance of kindness. Anyway, this one’s particularly good, so I wanted to share: Maxine: Where do you think God is? Like, which house or school… […] Read more – ‘Daddy, Daughter Discuss God (Again); More Cuteness Ensues’.
The Best Thing About Being a Secular Parent? You Tell Me!
By Wendy Thomas Russell | April 22, 2013
- Not long ago, my sister and her husband invited an old friend over for dinner. The friend is a talker, so their nights with him usually require a lot of generosity on their parts. He tends, my sister tells me, to drone on endlessly about inane topics — including, but not limited to, good meals he’s eaten recently. You know that guy too, don’t you? Yeah. Well all do. Anyway, on this particular night my sister’s 4-year-old son was sitting at the table with them. He apparently had taken his cue from his parents because […] Read more – ‘The Best Thing About Being a Secular Parent? You Tell Me!’.
12 Tips for Talking to Little Ones About Death
By Wendy Thomas Russell | April 16, 2013
- When American children return from school today, many will undoubtedly have questions about the Boston Marathon bombings — having glimpsed photographs, viewed video clips or spoken to peers. Depending on the age of your child, you might have some questions yourself: How much do I say? How much do I share? Click here for some great advice from Dr. Gene Beresin on CommonHealth for discussing the event — and others like it — with kids. Or read on for 12 general tips, revised from an earlier list, for talking to little ones about death. 1. Have […] Read more – ‘12 Tips for Talking to Little Ones About Death’.
Nonreligious Parents a ‘Niche’ Market? Not By My Count
By Wendy Thomas Russell | March 4, 2013
- When I started pitching “Relax, It’s Just God” two years ago, I was told, repeatedly, that it was too niche for major publishers. At the time, I assumed this was true. After all, we live in a religious country. If I wanted to appeal to the masses, there were certainly better ways to go. But since then, I’ve come to strongly disagree with the contention that we of little faith are some hugely specialized market. And, today, I did some number-crunching. Now I’m no statistician, so feel free to check me on this. I started […] Read more – ‘Nonreligious Parents a ‘Niche’ Market? Not By My Count’.
One Set of ‘Footprints in the Sand’ is Plenty for This Kid
By Wendy Thomas Russell | February 25, 2013
- When I was growing up — Missouri, 1980s — half the kids I knew had a framed copy of “Footprints in the Sand” somewhere in their house. Usually hanging in the living room. That poem was as meaningful to these families as Rudyard Kipling’s “If” was to ours. (My mom gave me a poster-sized copy of “If” right before I entered adolescence. I must have read it 500 times.) The point is, although it wasn’t in my own home, “Footprints in the Sand” was a part of my childhood. I have vivid memories of staring […] Read more – ‘One Set of ‘Footprints in the Sand’ is Plenty for This Kid’.